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  • Bonnie McRae

Rolling into the New Year full of gratitude.


As we roll into the new year, I wanted to start off by expressing my gratitude for all of our greater ATR family. There's never a day I take for granted the support from our numerous volunteers, track partners, followers, donors, and of course adopters. You all play a role in keeping our doors open and providing a safe space for racehorses in need of rehabilitation and a transition from one lifestyle and career to the next. I thought I would use this opportunity to give everyone a small update on our progress over the past year. 2022 was a challenging year. The horse market boomed in late 2021 and early 2022, which led an even greater number of horse dealers and sales barns sweeping through the racetracks and picking out the seemingly sound retirees that they could flip quickly for a profit.


This had a direct impact on the number of sound horses entering our program and subsequently the number of horses that we could transition and adopt into new homes. For example, in 2020 we had 105 horses enter our program, and 108 horses adopted. In 2022 we had 79 horses enter the program and 78 horses adopted.


This is a challenge on every front but primarily with funding. Our budget is designed around an expected number of intakes and adoptions each year, and the slower horses move through the program, the more that budget is challenged. The good news is we have terrific track partners and grantors that have stepped up to provide extra support throughout this period, and After the Races has adapted our model to support even more layups and limited horses.


I'm very proud of the number of horses we have rehabilitated and successfully placed in new homes. At the end of the day, those horses in need of physical rehabilitation, and those that have limitations on their next career, are the ones that need our help the most. Seeing them move on and subsequently thrive in their new homes is one of the most rewarding parts of this job. At the moment, 2023 looks like it will follow the same trend, but we are here to meet the challenge. If you would like to make a contribution toward the continued cost of rehabilitating these amazing horses, you can do so by following this link, or using the donate button on our website. Click here to make a donation.

Part of our process as we look toward 2023 is to ask ourselves how we can continue to support more retirees and expand our program. One of the things we believe would have the biggest impact on our continued success is finding After the Races a permanent home. This would mean purchasing a farm for the program after twelve years of renting various facilities. Having our own farm would come with a lot of advantages, both obvious and otherwise. Our budget would be able to relax slightly as a mortgage for a farm, similar to our current farm, would be nearly half what we are paying in rent. If we owned our own farm, it would then be more realistic to make improvements, expansions, and adjustments to our facility to accommodate and better serve more horses.

Whether we purchase our existing farm or find a new property in the area, we are very excited to pursue this new dream. If you would like to help make that dream a reality you can contribute directly to our fund for a new farm HERE. These funds will be automatically deposited into our savings account we set up for our one day future home. On that note, we are excited to jump into our thirteenth year of operation. Here's to many new horses finding safe landings, safe homes, and galloping on to bright futures. Happy New Year from all of us here at After the Races.

May it be the year of dreams realized.

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